Probe of Coherent and Quantum States in Narrow-Gap Based Semiconductors in the Presence of Strong Spin-Orbit Coupling

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Virginia Tech


The goal of this project was to study some unexplored optical and magneto-optical properties of the newest member of III-V ferromagnetic structures, InMnSb, as well as InSb films and InSb/AlInSb quantum wells. The emphasis was on dynamical aspects such as charge and spin dynamics in order to address several important issues of the spin-related phenomena. The objectives in this project were to: 1) understand charge/spin dynamics in NGS with different confinement potentials, 2) study phenomena such as interband photo-galvanic effects, in order to generate spin polarized current, 3) probe the effect of magnetic impurities on the spin/charge dynamics. This thesis describes three experiments: detection and measurement of spin polarized photocurrents in InSb films and quantum wells arising from the circular photogalvanic effect, and measurements of the carrier and spin relaxation in InSb and InMnSb structures by magneto-optical Kerr effect and differential transmission. The samples for our studies have been provided by Prof. Heremans at Virginia Tech, Prof. Santos at the University of Oklahoma, and Prof. Furdyna at the University of Notre Dame.



Circular photo-galvanic effect, Magneto-optical Kerr effect, Spin polarized current, Narrow gap semiconductors